Sod turned at Somerton terminal
July 10, 2023
Words by Ray Chan, Rail Express
Image: Victorian ports and freight minister Melissa Horne (left), Broadmeadows state member Kathleen Matthews-Ward and Mishkel Maharaj at the terminal site.
The Victorian and Federal Governments have welcomed the start of major works at the Somerton intermodal freight terminal in Melbourne’s north, which will create jobs and take thousands of trucks off suburban roads.
Intermodal Terminal Company chief executive officer Mishkel Maharaj was joined by ports and freight minister Melissa Horne at the site – a key hub in both the Labor Governments’ $58 million Port Rail Shuttle Network – for a sod-turning ceremony as ITC gets on with delivering construction works on the $400m terminal, funded by significant private sector investment.
The Somerton terminal will increase efficiency as well as safety for producers, farmers, freight operators and exporters.
When at capacity, ITC expects the terminal to take 500,000 truck trips off Melbourne’s roads – equivalent to 454m truck kilometres. Each year, it will also save 451m litres of fuel and reduce carbon emissions by 189,000 tonnes.
The terminal is being built at the 45-hectare Austrak Business Park. 400 jobs will be created during construction, with 90 ongoing fulltime roles required at the facility and around 1500 indirect jobs being supported on an ongoing basis.
It follows the start of services between the SCT Logistics Interstate Freight Facility in Altona and the Port of Melbourne last month in a major milestone for the Port Rail Shuttle Network.
Port Rail Shuttle Network will enable trucks to deliver or pick up containers from hubs in outer metropolitan Melbourne instead of driving to the Port of Melbourne, which is in turn investing $125 million in new rail infrastructure to cater for these shuttle trains.